Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 13, 2015 5:00 AM

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Fix Iowa’s rape custody laws

After catching “The Daily Show” this week, I learned something new about our state that makes me feel ashamed to call myself an Iowan. Currently, Iowa is one of 16 states that hasn’t changed the laws to strip rapists of their parental rights after a child was conceived through the act of rape.

Two bills were introduced this year (HF 100 and HF 264) and were referred to the Judiciary Committee (HJ 320 and HJ 154). After doing some considerable research over the standing of these bills, I have come up empty-handed. It appears that changing the laws to protect survivors of rape is not a top priority for Iowa.

It is estimated that nationally, 32,000 women who are raped become pregnant and about one-third (10,000) choose to give birth. The National Disaster Center crime report showed that 757 Iowans reported being raped in 2013. Thus, if a child were conceived through this vicious act, currently in Iowa it stands that the rapist would be able to fight for custody of the child or visitation rights. This means having to interact with your rapist, having to trust your rapist with your child, and having to expose your child to the person that violated you.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., has reintroduced the bill  Rape Survivor Child Custody Act (it failed in 2013). This bill would provide incentives to states that have changed their laws, 25 percent of funds would go toward the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, and 75 percent for Sexual Assault Service Program. Funding for these programs would be amazing, and I can’t believe that we have yet to change our laws to protect survivors of rape. The question I propose to every Iowan to think about is why would we need an incentive in the first place?

— Anna-Marie Hepker

A mockery of justice

In light of the news report headlined in The Daily Iowan as a “Book deal for Wagner,” and having been in the dark from the start as to why this matter was allowed to go forth by the court in the first place: were I the judge, I would dismiss the case for lack of standing on the part of the litigant and would not accommodate the use of a court of justice for a political agenda entitled for pursuit by one or with like leaning others in the court of public opinion.

The lady’s going forward doth make a mockery of justice under law reserved as a day in court for those suffering real personal injury in place of posturing for book publication some general injury apparently coming from the University of Iowa College of Law failing to have on staff a brain that sufficiently functions enough like that of the lady that is suing.

If this, why not the court accepting for suite that of a party unsuccessful in a run for the presidency having his political defeat overturned and being  emplaced in office as a matter of having suffered personal injury at the hands of a majority vote? Oh, oh, that has already been done, maybe Bush v. Gore?

As for myself, if I had at all times personally taken my own case with sufficient self-interest, I would have demanded  that  the law recognize me over any others for anything I cared to do because I am the very only me on Earth that thinks enough like I do.

By the way, does the university have a vegetarian among its dieticians, and let us not forget for the love of litigation the vegans and totally committed carnivores.

— Sam Osborne (UI alum via completion of graduation requirement, and not court order)

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